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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Re: Scar Tissue
Jan 4, 2004
Hi Mike: I had L4-5 lumbar laminectomy in 1993. My problems started just like yours, with a disk bulge. However, proper physical therapy (McKenzie possibly, as long as pain doesn't go below knee) could POSSBLY push the bulge back in. You are only 23; I am 55. My disks are dried out and tearing. At 23, your disks are still quite pliable and could very easily be pushed back into place with physical therapy. McKenzie phy. ther. shows you how to push the disks back in. I was 43 years old when my back "went out". Yes, I have scar tissue in that area. I also get epidural steroid injections in my lumbar spine; they work for me, but they don't help many other people. I have a great deal of swelling and inflammation in my lumbar spine; thus, the steroid injections help me and last for about 6 months. I always get a series of 3, every shot being given every 2 weeks. Epidurals usually take me a few days to recover from. In fact, the more it hurts when they put the steroid in you, that means they hit the right, most inflammed spot. (This is MY personal experience; some people can get allergic reactions from the shots and/or simply a poor reaction for whatever reason.) However, watch for fever and numbness after one of these shots. Your doctor can explain side effects of epidurals to you. Spinal surgeries are done to decompress nerves; these surgeries don't get rid of all your pain. If the spine has been tramatized in any way, it tends to "tweek" out and send pain messages, even though no damage is being done to your spinal nerves. However, only an MRI or CT Scan can look at your nerves to be sure there is no damage being done to nerves. Also, when I am upright (MRI's, etc., are done lying down) my entire spine crushes down like an accordian. I believe basically my spinal position changes the compression picture when I am upright. So many docs don't get this! Sitting puts a tremendous pressure on the lumbar spine. I have 14 degenerating disks. So, when a doc orders an MRI, they are looking for something they can SURGICALLY fix. If the docs say, nothing is wrong, that often means there is nothing they can surgically fix. That doesn't mean your spine is just fine. You could have disk bulges which do move in and out all the time, scar tissue (as long as your nerves are NOT impinged and being damaged) and with your body movement, these nerves can be getting "bumped around" by the disks bulging or bone spurs in your spinal joints.

I hope this helps. Please see your doctor and tell him/her everything that is going on and why you feel you have nerve impingement. That usually shows up as numbness. Take care, Patmg

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